ampr march 2018 update

April 10th, 2018

What’s New?

The Lowell’s ever-popular Pembroke Room, known for its chic Afternoon Tea and polished service, is relaunching in April 2018 – complete with a new outdoor terrace for alfresco brunching.

PONANT announces the first electric hybrid Icebreaker ship coming in 2021, which will safely cut through ice flow up to eight feet thick and travel to the true geographic North Pole (at 90 degrees North Latitude).

andBeyond Phinda Homestead in KwaZulu-Natal will reopen on September 1, 2018 after a complete rebuild. This standalone safari lodge allows travelers a completely private safari experience, ideal for family or group travel – no sharing safari vehicles and total control over the day’s schedule.

From March 1 through April 30, The Dupont Circle in Washington DC is celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a special ‘In Full Bloom’ package including a stay at the hotel, the chef’s cherry blossom themed welcome amenity, a $25 dining credit, and complimentary valet parking.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort has officially opened two of the five ultra-luxe Beachfront Collection residences. Images of the new homes – complete with infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling glass windows – are available for stays now.

Domaine de Manville in the heart of Provence received its first Michelin Star for its restaurant, l’Aupiho, helmed by Chef Matthieu Dupuis Baumal.

Vista Collina Resort in Napa is projected to open Summer 2018 and will feature 145 guestrooms. Adjacent to the property will be the Village, featuring nine tastings room, a food and wine center, and a 16,000 square foot lawn for concerts and events.

Jamaica’s GoldenEye launches veggie cocktails, featuring local produce from Pantrepant, the hotel’s farm. New elixirs include: the Cucumber Martini; Beetroot, Bourbon, and Scotch bonnet cocktail; and the Arugula and Celery Sour.

Royal Mansour Spa has unveiled a new series of bespoke hammam treatments where each step of the hammam process can be customized beginning with three types of body wraps, two types of kessa gloves, and a variety of Leonor Greyl shampoos for varying hair types.

Belmond has expanded its Italian portfolio with the acquisition of Castello di Casole, a historic castle hotel in the heart of rural Tuscany. The intimate 39-room hotel sits within 4,200 acres of farmland, vineyards, and olive groves – one of the largest private estates in Italy.

Travel to Brazil is easier than ever with a newly-launched e-visa system for American travelers To make the most of a Brazilian vacation, travelers can book Belmond’s ‘Grand Tour of Brazil’ – a five-night itinerary that includes the brand’s properties on Copacabana Beach and in Iguassu falls – or go off-the-beaten-path with a visit to UXUA on the remote shores of Trancoso.

Strawless and Flawless

Hotels are eschewing plastic straws for more sustainable options like paper or bamboo. According to The Last Plastic Straw project, 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day in the US, which is about 175 billion per year.

Nayara Springs, set on the fringes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, only uses bamboo straws across the property’s restaurants and bars – mixologist Monica Gonzalez is on-hand to whip up poolside cocktails made with local fruits.

The Doyle Collection’s London hotels (The Marylebone, The Kensington, and The Bloomsbury) just officially became plastic-straw-free and are now moving to roll out this policy brand-wide, from Dublin to Cork to Washington DC.

andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and the new andBeyond Bateleur Camp (reopening this month after a complete renovation), both on Kenya’s Masai Mara, have discontinued all plastic straw usage – falling into line with their ethos: care of the land, care of the wildlife, care of the people.

Go Global with Locals


andBeyond’s new philanthropic-focused itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa give guests first-hand experiences with the locals in the community, like participating in school conservation lessons in Tanzania.

Guests of Nayara Springs can visit the source of the resort’s chocolate at a local farm. The owners will teach travelers the process of chocolate-making.

During PONANT’s voyages through the Northwest Passage, guests will have opportunity to meet with locals in charming Inuit villages to learn about the culture.

Majestic Hotel & Spa has an exclusive relationship with local marine biologist Anna Bozzano, the only tour guide approved to visit the Barcelona Fish Market where she teaches about the market’s innerworkings.

Connecting guests with the local community is elemental to every Belmond experience. Highlights include art lessons with Jose Luis Arias, a graduate of the local Instituto Allende, at the newly renovated Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, and a walking tour with a former prison guard of Nelson Mandela’s that begins at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

Sugar Beach guests who hike the Gros Piton follow a guide from the local village up the two-hour climb.

Over-the-top Amenities

Guests at La Réserve Paris can create their ownbespoke scent with the help of a professional ‘nose.’

Thanks to Kinloch Anderson, kilt maker to Her Royal Highness the Queen, travelers on Belmond Royal Scotsman are swept to the showroom for a private fitting, and a fully customized kilt arrives at their doorstep 8-10 weeks later in the family tartan or a pattern from the train. During their journey, guests will find a complimentary set of Highland Dress (kilts for men, skirts for women) awaiting them in their train cabin.

One of the new Beachfront Collection residences available to buy or book for stay at St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach will have a waterslide connecting an infinity pool to a lower level hot tub and yoga deck.

Guests who book the top, three-bedroom suite at the White Elephant, White Elephant Village or The Wauwinet will receive the keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay.

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the first property in Bermuda to offer two-seat, electric Renault Twizy vehicles to guests, designed by Renault’s Formula One racing team and can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge.

At andBeyond Mnemba Island, instead of your typical tray of room service arriving in your room, the lodge will dig a custom “sand castle” dining room on the beach in front of your suite and serve freshly caught seafood surrounded by lantern light.

Located on the shores of Lac Léman, La Réserve Geneva has its very own Venetian Motoscafo boat that takes guests to go to and from the city center.

Majestic Hotel & Spa’s Royal Penthouse Suite – the largest suite in Barcelona – is home to a Bar Au Parfum stocked with five 200 ml bottles of Atelier Cologne, available for use throughout the stay. Guests can take home a complimentary leather case, engraved with their name and filled with 30ml sized bottles of each of the colognes.

Calendar

April

April 2018: Belmond La Residencia will unveil a new suite created by fashion designer Matthew Williamson.

April 2018: Belmond will add two new barges to its Belmond Afloat in France fleet. The two “floating hotels” will travel the rivers of Champagne and Alsace

April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation

April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India

April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda

May

May 4, 2018: In honor of its 100th anniversary, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona will serve a new pre-fixe dinner replicating the hotel’s original restaurant menus

May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding will be screened all day at The Kensington in London

May 25, 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online

June

June 10, 2018: Sterling Vineyard’s 2nd Annual RoseFest will feature 30+ Napa Valley rose tastings with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation

June 15-16, 2018: In honor of the Nantucket Boat Basin’s 50th anniversary, the marina will host its first-ever Father’s Day Fishing Tournament where teams will compete for the top title in categories such as heaviest fish and most fish caught

yoga, rhinos, and dark skies: ampr now representing andbeyond

February 19th, 2013

We are proud to announce  andBeyond as our newest client.  andBeyond is a leader in luxury experiential travel and a conservation pioneer offering well-heeled travelers diversity, escape, and natural heritage.

New & Noteworthy

  • In the first private game reserve donation of rhinoceros to another country, andBeyond is translocating six white rhinoceros from andBeyond South Africa to Botswana.  South Africa lost 668 to illegal poaching last year;  Botswana offers excellent security systems to protect the endangered species.
  • andBeyond is currently offering honeymoon travelers a 50 percent discount on the bride’s travel across all &Beyond lodges.  Highlighted locations include:  andBeyond Mnemba Island where guests can swim with dolphins and watch green turtles hatch before they swim off to sea; and andBeyond Kichwa Tembo, located in one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world.
  • The Homestead at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is now offering Yoga Safaris.  Other speciality safaris include  family, photography, birding, and wildlife tracking. (more…)

park hyatt masters of food & wine september 2012 series

September 19th, 2012

The final weekend of the 2012 Park Hyatt Masters of Food and Wine, a global series of seasonally- and locally-inspired culinary weekend workshops, will occur at Park Hyatts around the world from September 21 – 23, 2012.

Through engaging and interactive programming, resident and visiting gourmands and oenophiles can become ‘masters’ of regional cuisine. Park Hyatt chefs and sommeliers will lead masters-in-training in three hands-on ‘courses’ on the designated day:

In the Field: Interaction with artisanal food or beverage purveyors
In the Kitchen: Onsite cooking and prep workshops
In the Moment: Tips on service and presentation

Sample hotel itineraries during the September series include:

- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will introduce guests to a culinary weekend that will focus on the local and sustainable resources of the region. It will open with a “Sustainable Grill Dinner” hosted by Executive Chef Laurent Pommey and will feature a seven-course menu with dishes such as Seared Tuna and Omani Lobster Carpaccio with Coriander, Local Mackeral Fillet with Herb Crust, and more. The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Park Bar & Grill, will be offering a special four-course vegetarian grill menu throughout the weekend that will include specialities such as Orange Couscous and Mint Salad and Stuffed Purple Kohlrabi with Sweet Potato-Chili Puree and Kenia Beans. Chef de Cuisine Maik Lilenthal will also be hosting a cooking class that will focus on vegetarian cooking and feature a three-course menu.

- Park Hyatt Aviara will take guests to Orfila Vineyards & Winery where they will be greeted with a unique tribute to the European tradition of tasting the Bourru, a young wine derived from fermentation of the Must. Long celebrated during the harvest season, this tasting of the Bourru traditionally takes place from early September to late October and is generally served with savory foods or chestnuts. Masters of Food & Wine is honored to introduce guests to this unique and rarely seen experience. Guests will experience a tour of the winery and enjoy a family-style lunch led by Park Hyatt Aviara’s Executive Chef, Pierre Albaladejo, that will incorporate different types of estate grapes into each dish.

- Park Hyatt Buenos Aires will host an “Organic Springtime” event where organic producers and suppliers create a premium Organic Market in the gardens of the hotel, inviting guests to experience a uniquely organic universe. Attendees will be able to meet, taste, and learn about organic trends while celebrating spring’s arrival in Buenos Aires.

- Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme will offer a special workshop with Mr. Cohen at Les Vergers St. Eustache, the official supplier of all the Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. Guests will have the opportunity to discover amazing and forgotten vegetables thanks to Mr. Cohen, a real fruit and vegetable storyteller.

For more information and additional itineraries for Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine September series, please click here.

 

expert how-to: avoid sun damage and still get tan

July 19th, 2012

Yes, everyone looks better with a golden glow. The drawback is that spending hours in the sun takes a toll on skin. We asked Guinot’s Director of Education and keeper of myriad beauty secrets, Elizabeth Murchison, for her tips on how to protect your skin (and still look fabulous!).

What does sun exposure do to your skin?

Sun exposure causes pigmentation and uneven skin, ages the skin, and could cause serious problems such as skin cancer.

What’s the best way to fight sun damage? (Okay, this was an easy one!)

The best ways to fight sun damage is to apply an SPF of 15, 20, or 30 approximately 20 minutes before leaving your home (the actives need time to settle in the skin). If you are planning on being out for a day at the beach, running errands, or taking a fun walk in the neighborhood, you should apply your SPF every two hours as sun protection has minimized.

What is the best way to look tan without damaging your skin? (more…)

work and leisure don’t mix

July 5th, 2012

Image courtesy of SlaughterDevelopment.com

Many of us go on vacation to escape from the anxieties of reality – but perhaps we are unknowingly bringing our everyday life with us.  Between constantly checking our phones, computers, and crafting mental to-do lists for work and home, we are not allowing ourselves to fully decompress and appreciate the beauty of a stress-free vacation.  Nevertheless, there are secrets to avoid this vacation sabotage. According to a recent article by Matt Richtel of The New York Times, the secret involves understanding your motives and your brain.  Here are some tips from the article to take advantage of your next vacation:

1. Start now and practice letting go on a daily basis.  Whether you prefer to engage in meditation techniques to slow the mind or to simply turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed, try to shift your brain out of work mode and into relaxation mode.

2. While on vacation, break your gadget habits and try disabling your e-mail or leaving your phone in the room for a few hours.

3. Absorb and enjoy boredom.  Try to relax and stay in your lounge chair for more than five minutes.  Experts suggest low-stake activities such as hiking or snorkeling to help your brain out.

4. Do not raise your expectations of your trip.  According to Richtel, raising expectations builds dopamine (the organic chemical that is responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure centers), but if our expectations aren’t met, we are often left disappointed.

5. Work and vacations do not mix.  Experts believe that mixing the two not only interferes with your supposed-to-be relaxing trip but it also prevents you from reaching your full creativity potential.

6. Don’t worry about the load of e-mails that will be waiting for you when you get back to work.  Experts say this will also restrict you from tranquility and from thoroughly enjoying your vacation.  Your workplace will survive and so will you!

So unplug from the office, detach yourself from the phone or computer and give your brain a little R&R.

travel back to the 16th century in istanbul

June 14th, 2012

Photos courtesy of TreeHugger.com and Park Hyatt Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey offers the perfect mix of an urban city center with rich, beautiful history that dates back centuries.  That history comes to life through the breath-taking Mosques and architecture of Sinan, the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire.  The Park Hyatt Istanbul offers you a luxurious room to come home to after your day of traveling back in time – the first mosque is located just fifteen minutes away from the hotel!

You can begin your journey at the Sehzade Mosque, just as Sinan did.  This was one of his first mosques built, finished in 1548, and is perfect from the exterior.  However, Sinan placed the entrance in the center of the mosque to create symmetry, which created a passageway right through the main prayer area.  Sinan recognized his mistake and did not make it again.

The next stop is at the Suleymaniye Mosque, the most famous in Istanbul.  It towers over the city above the Golden Horn.  Sinan built it atop a hill to give the illusion that the mosque is floating – an effect that can only be captured in person.  The mosque just reopened after a full restoration and looks just like it did when Sinan and his team first constructed it!

Located right about the city’s lively Spice Market, the Rustem Pasha Mosque will be next on your itinerary and a perfect place to shop, eat, and meet the locals of this unique city. To avoid the crowd and bustle, two simple staircases lead you up to the beautiful and peaceful plaza that was built right outside of the mosque.  The Rustem Pasha Mosque is most famous for its striking and colorful use of Iznik tile on the interior.

Take a quick boat to discover two other unique mosques and the breathtaking view of Istanbul’s nearly 3,000 mosques that create the skyline.  Located on the island of Uskudar, the Semsi Pasha Mosque and Mihrimah Sultan I Mosque can only reached by boat.  Here, Sinan introduced the double porch to his new mosques and this new piece of architecture quickly spread throughout all of Europe.

Located three hours away from Istanbul, spend the day in Edirne to view what Sinan thought was his own masterpiece, the Selimiye Mosque. Formerly located in the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the mosque now stands majestically in the city center of Edirne.

After a long day of exploring, the Park Hyatt Istanbul is the perfect place to wind down. Not only does the hotel have its own historic architecture similar to what you just discovered (with its own innovative flare), a quick trip to The Spa will leave you refreshed and ready for your next day of exploration. Rates begin at $275 per night.

nantucket book festival: june 15 – 17

May 11th, 2012

The Wauwinet, White Elephant

Celebrate Nantucket Island’s rich literary past, present, and future at the island’s first Nantucket Book Festival, June 15 – 17. The weekend’s celebration will include panel discussions, readings for adults and children, pig roast at Cisco Brewery, and opportunities to meet notable authors in person, plus much more.

A handful of local Nantucket authors will be participating including Elin Handbrand, whose books are ideal beach reads, Nancy Thayer, author of 21 novels with her latest Heat Wave due out in June, and Nathaniel Philbrick, New York Times bestselling author of seagoing books.

Stroll down Broad Street and pop into Nantucket Bookworms to buy a book for your literary-themed weekend. (May we suggest Moby Dick?). Rest your head at The Wauwinet or at the White Elephant, both which offer cozy libraries – perfect for leafing through your new book, with a complimentary glass of port of sherry in hand.

To book overnight accommodations, visit www.nantucketislandresorts.com.

For more information about the Nantucket Book Festival, click here.

making the world a better place one port at a time

April 18th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Inc.com and Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is surely doing their part to help make the world a better place. It all started in January 2011, when they introduced the “You Care, We Care” voluntourism program where guests and crew can be directly involved in worthwhile causes in the destinations they visit, including opportunities such as assisting with poverty relief, education, cultural preservation, environmental conservation, animal welfare, and more. In May, Arun Gandhi joins guests aboard Crystal Symphony for a Iberian Peninsula sailing.

Few names in world history evoke such powerful images of integrity, courage, social harmony, and – perhaps most of all – hope. Arun Gandhi carries within himself the same guiding principles as his grandfather, the legendary peace-maker and spiritual leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. A speaker of international acclaim, Gandhi has spoken at hundreds of colleges and universities, and corporate and civic organizations. His unique talents and cross-cultural experiences have brought him before governmental, social, and educational audiences in countries all over the world. Arun is a cultural treasure, offering firsthand insights into one of history’s most influential leaders.

From May 9 – 21, 2012, join Gandhi aboard Crystal Symphony’s  ”Iberian Journey“ sailing from Barcelona to London, with calls in Mallorca/Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, and Málaga, Spain; Tangiers, Morocco; Lisbon and Oporto/Leixoes, Portugal; and Bordeaux, France. You too can help make the world a better place!

oh, sunny santa fe would be nice

December 8th, 2011

There’s a reason Angel and Collins from our favorite musical, Rent, wanted to leave New York to open a restaurant in Santa Fe. The City Different was recently voted one of the Top Ten US Food Destinations by TripAdvisor!  Now you can learn to cook like a Santa Fean chef at the charming Inn on the Alameda, recently named one of Condé Nast’s Top 200 Hotels, with the Taste the City Different Package. Led by a chef from the Santa Fe Cooking School, guests will take an afternoon tour of the city with four stops at unique dining destinations, where they can taste the menus, meet the chefs and owners, and learn about the eclectic mix of old and new that defines the region’s distinctive cuisine. The package also includes a cooking class, where guests will learn how to throw some southwestern flair into their kitchens at home.

January to April, 2012 dates are:

January – 1/19-21

February – 2/2-4; 2/9-11; 2/16-18; and 2/23-25

March – 3/1-3; 3/8-10; 3/15-17; 3/22-25; and 3/29-31

April – 4/5-7; 4/12-14; 4/19-21; and 4/26-28

So jump on the bandwagon, and find out for yourself why everyone is talking about Santa Fe!

To see if your favorite U.S. hotel made the list, click here!

can you handle the suspense?

June 14th, 2011

Lucky fans will get the thrill of their lives upon meeting the “Queen of Suspense” herself,  author Mary Higgins Clark, on Crystal Cruises’ “Beyond the Bosporus” sailing  from Venice to Istanbul September 7 – 19.

Known for keeping readers on the edges of their seats, Clark will share tales of her life, her novels, and what it takes to make the suspense come to life.

Two-for-one fares start at just $7,485, and guests can save on verandah and penthouse staterooms as part of Crystal’s big fall fare sale. All bookings include air transportation from 24 North American cities and $2,000 “As You Wish” shipboard credit per couple.

Is the suspense killing you? Book today for the thrill of a lifetime!

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